We walk and I try to hold to my decision, to be strong but I cannot. I cry out, "I don't want to go there! It hurts! I don't want to go!"
"Come walk with me." His tone is much more firm than before.
"Why are you so insistent this time?" I am confused.
"Because, I heard your heart there on the hilltop. It is only your flesh speaking now."
I say nothing more, thinking on His answer to me.
Firmly, He guides me back to the tree. He stands beside me a moment, as if waiting for something. I feel myself tremble, but I am surprised as I hear myself saying, "I welcome your correction, Lord." He begins.
He shows me with devastating clarity how I have dishonored my father through judgment and unforgiveness for my perception of his failures to protect and take care of me during the times he traveled, believing that he did not care about me. I see vows that I have made, that I have never been accepted (made seeing him hold my baby sister), vows that I will never be good enough, that I’ll never be taken care of that I have to take care of myself. I have seen God through these vows, believing that He will reject me, that I’ll never be good enough for Him, that He won’t take care of me, that He isn’t interested in me. All this has created a wall between He and me.
Then the truth comes crashing in on me! It is my sin and my sin alone-not the sin of my parents- that has kept me from receiving from Him; for years I have rejected His outstretched hand, gifts because I have vowed to be rejected and unacceptable! It is all from me, the problem is with me! It always has been, always!
The pain is too much, I slip and fall, and huddle into the niche. “Forgive me! Forgive me! My sin alone has kept me from you! I have rejected you all this time, not You, me! Forgive me Father!.” My tears cannot be held back as I see this. Surely this must be what He wanted me to see.
“Give Me your hand.” I hear His firm voice as he reaches down to me. “Return to that place, we are not yet finished.”
My gut knots and I cry out,” I can’t, I can’t, it is too much!” He says nothing. Somehow, I obey.
He begins again.
He shows me how I have judged my parents and vowed that they would never know Him, how I have stood in the way of their receiving His love. I have judged and rejected myself, that I would never be good enough, acceptable or wanted.
I cry out in repentance again. And now He is finished.
I cling to the tree for strength, I have none left. It seems to have gone on forever this time I am heavy with the stains of the sin. I curl upon the branch to cry.
“Come, walk with Me,” He says, pointing to the waterfall. The coolness of the water invites, but I have no strength left. “I can’t, I can’t! It is too much!,” I hear myself cry. “The weight of these stains—it is to much!” I long to obey, but cannot.
Then, He lifts me and carries me in His arms to the water fall. Gently, he places me in the water, under the waterfall. Slowly, the weight falls away until I can stand on my own. I still feel heavy.
“Wash your back—the things you have carried but have not seen until now.”
I obey. It takes a long time, but the turmoil is gone. I am spent. He takes my arm. “Come with Me and rest, be refreshed.”
I obey. Deep inside, I know there is still much left to change. Only in His refreshing is there strength to continue. We sit down and He pulls me close. I try to pull away.
“Shhh, rest now—we will talk when you are stronger.”